Mayo 0-21 Roscommon 0-9: all over by half-time

Mayo Ros Final Score

James Horan may have been correct to chide Mayo supporters during the week about all that “daft” talk of Croke Park in August but by half-time in McHale Park today it was obvious that this is where, once again, we’re headed this year. Roscommon’s early challenge had by then been comprehensively unpicked and with a nine-point cushion going into the second half, the contest was already over at that stage. We won pulling up today and it’d take a fairly lively imagination to see anything different occurring in the provincial decider next month.  Croke Park, here we come.

The stand was filling up rapidly by the time we made it into the ground today and there was a real championship air to the proceedings as the clock ticked down to the 4pm throw-in time. It felt like championship as well for much of the first half, as the Rossies sought to implement a coherent game-plan, one that clearly sought an avoidance of the same fate that befell the Tribesmen and one which appeared to be working okay for them in the opening quarter.

Pre-match parade

Right from the throw-in, Roscommon applied strong pressure on us high up the field, contesting every ball fiercely and closing down David Clarke’s options from his kick-outs. They also more than matched us in the battle for primary ball around the middle and in snapping up the loose secondary stuff as well. All this worked so well for them that in that closely contested opening phase of the game, most of the action took place in our half.  It took us nearly five minutes to launch our first attack and a full twelve minutes had passed before Kevin McLoughlin broke our duck with a neat point from play.

Crucially, though, that positive opening showing by the visitors wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard. They took the lead for the first and only time via a Donie Smith free but the same player then failed to double their lead soon after when he screwed an equally easy free wide. It was after that miss that we began to take the game to them and once we did our points tally began to accumulate fairly rapidly.

Before we got our opening score we nearly had two goals, with Richie Feeney attempting to set up Alan Freeman when he really should have taken the point to get us going and then Alan Dillon flicked David Clarke’s ’45 onto the crossbar. Kevin McLoughlin’s opener was followed by a boomer from Donal Vaughan, with Kevin getting his second from a free after Enda Varley was fouled.

Alan Freeman goal chance

Photo: Mayo Mick

The game’s next score was a nice one from play for them by Karol Mannion but then the increasingly influential Alan Freeman got two for us, both involving spectacular fetches by the Aghamore man. He was fouled on the way down for the first one – and pointed the resultant free – but after catching the next one he turned and banged it over to put us three clear.

Our grip on proceedings tightened as Keith Higgins stole upfield on a trademark run, knifed right through the Rossies’ defence and fired over with his left foot. Kevin McLoughlin added another from play but the visitors then stemmed the tide with two well-worked scores, the first from Higgins and the second from Devanney to cut the gap to three with ten minutes of the first half to play.

Keith Higgins point

Photo: Mayo Mick

Over that ten-minute spell, though, we fairly put them to the sword, firing over six points without reply, each successive one sucking that bit more of the fight from them.

Colm Boyle got the first of this fusilade, when he burst through the increasingly despairing Rossie cover to smash over a real belter. This was followed by five more points – frees from Kevin and Alan Freeman and ones from open play by Richie Feeney (a real monster that one was), Alan Dillon and Enda Varley – as we surged into a nine-point lead at the break.

Half-time

There was simply no way back for Roscommon after that and, to be honest, it was difficult not to have some sympathy for them at the break. They hadn’t capitulated in the craven manner that Galway had done, they’d managed not to concede a goal (and went on to complete that achievement in the second half) and they’d contested well, in particular at midfield, for much of the half. But, despite all this good work, the match was still all over bar the proverbial shouting.

I was on my way back from the jacks when the action got underway again and so missed Aidan O’Shea’s point right at the start of the half, which stretched our lead to ten points. Once I did get back to my seat, though, it was obvious that all the intensity had gone from the contest with the match petering out very tamely.

Missed goal chance second half

Photo: Mayo Mick

Long before the end, we’d got to bench-emptying territory, a process that began with David Clarke (injured, I guess?) being replaced by Kenneth O’Malley soon after the restart. Andy Moran got a rousing welcome when he came on for Cathal Carolan and further switches saw Darren Coen, Shane McHale and Kevin Keane replace Enda Varley, Ger Cafferkey (who also seemed to have taken a knock) and Keith Higgins respectively.

In Salthill the last day, we never really let up throughout the second half, the match ending in a crescendo with Andy’s comeback goal, but today the contest just faded and died after the break and the Rossie crowd were streaming out in droves with more than twenty minutes still left on the clock. They’d clearly seen enough by then but the home faithful who stuck around didn’t get much in the way of entertainment either, as we hit a succession of poor wides – six in a row, I think – before ref Michael Duffy mercifully ended proceedings.

Our performance today didn’t hit the same high notes that we’d reached in Salthill but in many respects it was just as satisfactory. Roscommon made every attempt to make life difficult for us early on but we still managed to post a winning score by half-time. What was impressive today was the spread of scorers – all three half-backs got on the board and all the forwards bar Cathal Carolan pointed too, as did subs Andy Moran and Darren Coen.

Between the sticks, both David Clarke and Kenneth O’Malley did fine. David wasn’t able to get the same range of varied kick-outs going in the first half but that was simply down to the effective way the Rossies were tracking our runners at that stage of the game. He dealt with the only really dangerous Hail Mary ball that came into him, as did Kenneth with a similar ball later on. The Ballinrobe man deputised effectively in the second half, never really putting a foot wrong after he came on.

All the full-back line played well, in particular Tom Cunniffe who emerged with the ball time after time as Roscommon tried to unpick us at the back in the first half. Likewise, the entire half-back line were impressive, with Colm Boyle once more at his imperious best at wing-back.

Tom Cunniffe and Colm Boyle

Photo: Mayo Mick

We didn’t dominate at midfield until after the break but the O’Shea brothers, especially Seamus, still did well throughout. It would have been good, though, to see Barry Moran come on at some point after the break, but it looked as if those injuries to David Clarke and Ger Caff may have constrained us in that area.

Kevin McLoughlin would have justifiable claims to MOTM, I reckon, with his five points and his constant lively promptings contributing very handsomely to the win. Soo too would Richie Feeney who had a very productive day, especially when the fat was still in the fire in the first half, and the oft-maligned Alan Freeman,who was easily our best forward in the first half, wouldn’t have been far off that accolade either.  Andy Moran and Darren Coen were both lively and effective when they came on after the break. Andy smashed over a real zinger of a point with the outside of his boot from out on the wing and Darren’s shot for his second point late on could just as easily have ended in the net.

After the final whistle

So it’s onto the Connacht final, where we’ll play either Leitrim and London on July 21st. And once we beat whichever one of them it is – which we will, and comprehensively – our campaign will then move onto the serious challenges that await us in Croke Park. Hang on, though, who said anything about Croke Park? Sure aren’t we focused solely on Game 3 now?

Mayo: David Clarke; Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins (0-1); Lee Keegan (0-1), Donal Vaughan (0-1), Colm Boyle (0-2); Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Seamus O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin (0-5, four frees), Richie Feeney (0-1), Cathal Carolan; Enda Varley (0-1), Alan Freeman (0-4, three frees), Alan Dillon (0-1). Subs: Kenneth O’Malley for Clarke, Andy Moran (0-1) for Carolan, Darren Coen (0-2) for Varley, Shane McHale for Cafferkey, Kevin Keane for Higgins.

69 thoughts on “Mayo 0-21 Roscommon 0-9: all over by half-time

  1. 12 players scored. It’s very hard to stop that kind of a team. It could have been total destruction but Mayo kicked some wides near the end with goals on. A good win with a great scoreline. It’s becoming more apparent that there’s a small group miles ahead of the rest and thankfully Mayo are in that group. Leitrim will get a pasting too and then we will get a real game in quarter maybe but definitely semi.
    Today without o Connor, conroy or doc up front mayo steamrolled Roscommon.
    2 things to whine about, cleaned out for the first 15 minutes, won little breaking ball and the last 10 minutes we should have went to town on them. Whining over. Very proud of them all. Well done and I hope that cillian o Connor is ok for August.

  2. Happy with the win, nothing less than expected. Roscommon were very poor, yet we didn’t put the shoe down. That concerned me during the match where it was evident early on, when Ross had the majority of possession yet we were ahead. Having said that, we should have been more ruthless and knocked in a few goals. Some bad misses really. JH alluded to it in the post match interview, come August we won’t get as many easy chances. I thought Freeman was great, as were the two O’Shea’s.

  3. Impressive scoreline, some great performances from mayo too, Seamus o Shea, Freeman and Cuniffe stood out for me, Rossies a long way off the pace, they are a poor side. Plenty to work on too though, no goals and a fairly disjointed second half effort will not have pleased James Horan. I still think we will need to improve substantially on today, we are now judging mayo as serious All Ireland contenders, that performance was good enough to beat probably 27 of the other teams in the country, but it wont be enough against the top sides.

    We desperately need COC fit, even to kick 45s alone, that could be the 3 or 4 points that could get us over the line against the likes of Dublin or Donegal. We missed 3 or 4 today but it didn’t matter against that level of opposition.

    Also I felt we were sluggish in the first ten or twelve minutes but Roscommon couldn’t punish us, a start like that against Donegal or Dublin or Kerry; we would be facing a 6 or 7 point deficit and it would be curtains.

    We need to be more clinical in front of goal too. We should have been more ruthless in the 2nd half.
    It might sound like I am hard to please after a 12 point win, but I am judging Mayos performance as potential AI winners. Don’t forget the other serious contenders are dismantling the cannon fodder in their provinces just as easily as we are. There will be some major collisions in August.

    One positive for me was Keith Higgins and James Horans post match interviews on RTE, neither was happy with the performance. That’s the kind of ruthlessness I like to see coming out of the Mayo camp. You should never be fully happy with a performance and always look to improve even more, no matter how good it is. That’s what champions and winners do.
    Another plus is the competition for places being generated, and the spread of scorers (12 in all I think they said on rte). It means we are not overly reliant on any one individual. Would like to see Andy start the next day, still some way off his pre injury form and needs as much game time as possible. Here’s hoping for no fresh injuries over the coming weeks. Well done to the lads and onwards and upwards to the Connaught final!

  4. All over and easier than I thought it would be. Looking strong!

    Might have sorted the No 2 position but need a tougher test to confirm. Still not convinced with the centre back position when the good teams push forward at us. I hope I’m wrong because JH isn’t going to change this.

    Still a very big worry is the poir goal scoring (other than in the Galway collapse).

    Finally, the biggest danger, as always is the high expectation of the greatest and most loyal fans in the game!

    Still the real prospect of a 3-in-row Connacht Final wins in a very long time is enough to enjoy a couple of pints of the black stuff tonight in ROS.

    Come on Mayo !!!!!!

  5. Well done lads, did what was necessary, great spread of great scores, Freeman was excellent as was Seamie, mind you everyone played their part and we hardly got out of second gear.
    What has stood out over the last couple of games compared to last year and many years past, is how the forwards get the ball to stick and then don,t rush it, they do as all good sportsmen do, they make time for themselves, could be to do with Donie B factor.
    We got a bit careless late on but then it was no more than a practice session, yes there are tougher to come and a few goals would put a shine on it but we are getting used to winning well and when you can score 21 points with such ease and spread and return a 4.37 from games against Galway and Ross, then you’re doing a lot right.
    Am glad we got through it without any serious injuries , if we had pushed on in the later stages we could have racked up a huge score but we may have also risked the injury factor.
    Played very well as a unit and still managed to stay a bit under the radar.

  6. You can only beat what’s put in front of you, but it would have been nice to see a better test. Never panicked when Ros were lording possession in the first half. They obviously believe very much in their own ability and realised their superiority would come to the fore. Men against boys in the end.

    Given the display of the O’Shea brothers, where does a fit Barry Moran fit into the picture?

  7. Good win lads. Mayo won game by pushing on in 20 min period in first half. Caff very imressive, keith excellant, cuniffe and boyle were cuniffe and boyle, sos brillant, aos very good attacking, kevin mc class, feeney very hard working and hit excellant runs and freeman…..welcome back fullforward!!!
    Oh yeah excellant camio by omalley. Except for 45.
    All in all a good workout for us and horan will be happy.
    But a bit to work on also.

  8. Great win!!!
    Pleased to see most would have liked more goal attempts. The second half was the time to go all out for goals. There was nothing to lose.
    Shame that Coen and Andy didn’t see more of the ball. It would be good for them.
    Would have loved at least 26 points and a couple of goals. That’s just me being greedy. Lost possession in the middle of the field for a long time. Rossies with 67% and I think 2 points.
    We are now in the top 6, serious All Ireland contenders, but we still a lot to work on to be No.1

  9. A good not a great showing from Mayo the defenders seems better at scoring than the forwards the forwards are better at defending than scoring. Like the Galway game we didn’t learn much about ourselves and i still think it would be better moving forward if we had got a better test in the last few games. Roscommon won plenty in midfield today however they hadn’t a clue what to do with the ball on that viewing John Evans hasn’t improved them.

    Leitrim or London in the Connacht final now they worse than Roscommon,Galway on paper we could be looking at record win if Mayo are in the mood.

  10. Great win, delighted.

    I know some will complain about the lack of goals or not completely dismantling Ros, but let’s get some perspective here. It was only nearly 3 years ago we were in an almighty hole after the Sligo/Longford losses. We’ve made unbelievable strides since then, so lets get behind this team, as they are the real deal.

    Are they good enough to get us the holy grail? Who knows, with a bit of luck along the way then I think they are. But still, a long way to go yet.

    I’ve been watching Mayo teams for the past 30 years and this for me is the best side/panel we’ve ever had. I know the 96/97 team might have had better individual players, but for me this is the best ‘team’ we’ve ever had. Align that with a clued up management team and we’re clearly on to something here. But again, a long way to go.
    No more injuries and a bit of luck along the way and anything is possible.

    Am I right in thinking the final is set for Salthill no matter who we meet?

    Well done to all involved today.

  11. The true measure of Mayos domination of Roscommon today will be calibrated by Galways and Roscommons performance through the backdoor. Wait and see. Mayo are a serious team. They can only beat the team they play against. We came through unscathed and are moving on to the next game. Mayo fans, like the doubting one, will have to poke their fingers through the holes in the hands and side. When we believe, all the old scars will leather and sinew tight.

    Our time awaits us.

    Come On Mayo!

  12. Scoring 21 points in any match is something to be proud of and to top that 12 players scored happy days. Yes it would be nice to score goals but a 21 point score is still a fine winning score line and lets not forget we kept the visitors to a 9 point score line which itself is impressive regardless of who the the team was. So good day out i didn’t believe it would be a tight game today the lads have to much class for this Roscommon team.Now lets focus on Connaught final.Well done to lads they fone the business again today .

  13. David

    With all due respect dismissing London without mentioning them is very brollyesque and we all know what we think of him.

  14. Perhaps some Mayo supporters will stop “poor mouthing” now. Why not call a game as it is and stop being so pessimistic?! Mayo will meet good teams this year, they may only meet 1, but why play down our chances? Personally, I see this “predict the worst and hope for the best” attitude as being a large contributor to Mayo’s shortcomings in the recent past. It’s a collective mentality that has seeped through generations of Mayo teams, contributing to their downfall time and time again. This is the single biggest difference that I can see between teams now and in the past. The mental/psychological approach/attitude emanating from the camp is excellent.

    Mayo did exactly what they should have been expected to do today. In fact, they probably should be disappointed that they finished the game the way they did. I won’t criticise them for not putting away the opposition in the last 30 mins because being 10+ points up is actually a horrible position to be in, in terms of a competitive match.

    Willie Joe et al – this “tight game” that you were predicting… Would you like to give us some justification for that? What were you basing it on? This may sound harsh, perhaps it is, but I call that a gutless prediction. Not based on any kind of reasoning.Saying what you think should be said instead of what should actually be said, – what you genuinely think. Basically, what you would slate RTE pundits for saying.

  15. I thought Boyle, Feeney and freeman were our best players today, backed up by Caff & Higgins. Imagine the damage Higgins would cause if he was making them runs from no. 6 position! I’m delighted for freeman because I believe he has alot of talent and he could be a very special player for us for many years.

    I wasn’t too impressed with the two O’Sheas to be honest. We were being beaten in the middle in the first half. The only hope we had of winning our kickouts was by going short. The O’Sheas played well when we were way ahead and the game was over. Their first half performance left alot to be desired but Seamus was better than Aidan.

    We are a good team but its hard to gauge how good we are after hammering Galway and Ros. There will be alot harder tests to come but personally I’m looking forward to the return of Cillian, Conroy and Barry Moran. Throw andy in on our first 15 and we are a serious outfit for any team.

  16. hello, Like the Galway game this game showed that us bloggers and the pundits know little or nothing until it happens and the we start making explanations for this and that – usually copied from someone else. Then we become experts!

    I for one am now happy to leave things to James Horan, Nallen, Buckiey etc and those who play the football. The ball will bounce as it does. I will no doubt try praying if we are losing. How about a quarter final v Meath before meeting Donegal and then Kerry/Dublin.?

  17. Kob

    If you read back on my previous posts you will see that I think London could easily beat Leitrim. Don’t be getting yourself in a knot over my slip of the keyboard. London can quite easily beat Leitrim, as I pointed out in my posts it’s Leitrim that dropped 4 players they couldn’t afford to while London are gaining good lads from this recession thing. I also said that ny who were well clipped by Leitrim train in terrible weather and have nobody to practice against while London get lots of well set up teams to play against, limerick, Wicklow, Fermanagh etc year in year out, this put lei trims win over ny into context.
    Joe Brooklyn indeed.

  18. Surely a Mayo v Leitrim/London final won’t have to go to Salthill. A bit of common sense here, home advantage for Mayo added to a big Leitrim crowd for their first final in 13 years (if it’s them) would make for a great day out for everyone in Castlebar, you could get 25000 plus in. Probably only half that many would bother going to Salthill. We all know the Connacht Council need a pay day…

  19. Well done to Mayo, forwards were excellent at winning ball, creating space and kicking nice points. At the other end the backs as predicted choked the Ross forwards out of the game. Our midfield and half backs/ forwards destroyed Mayo at winning the breaking ball in the first half, which is bound to be a point of concern. The ref also rode us in the first half, breaks like these a team with fragile confidence could do without. In saying that Mayo looked like a team who could have steamrolled by 25 points plus if they really wanted. You guys have a hell of a team, I hope yee can go on and win the All Ireland yee deserve.

  20. pfb-I have now heard it all. I am sure Willie Joe will defend himself but your comments are the most insulting to almost all the current comments which are balanced and realistic. I am gobsmacked and wonder what degree in psychology you have achieved.
    You have some accurate comments there but your nasty remarks on anyone who may have doubts on the ability of the team are outrageous, to say the least. Everybody is entitled to their opinion.
    If I wasn’t a gentleman, I’d say you were talking shite!! Is that a gutless prediction?

  21. Surely final would be in Hyde Park regardless of whether its Leitrim or London? Would have also thought that Connacht council would be looking to spread the revenue around by hosting a big game this summer in each of the 3 big grounds?

  22. @ Patriot – All 5 subs were used, don’t forget Kenneth O’Malley replaced David Clarke at the beginning of the second half. Regan wasn’t on the match programme, and according to JH at the post-match interview, Doc is still injured.

  23. @ 45 It was announced during the week that Hyde Park won’t host Connacht Finals for the foreseeable future due to the usual health and safety craic, I think it was.

  24. Agree totally with Joe Mc. PFB you need to relax. Just be thankful Mayo going so well and not perfect either but a great work in progress. To suggest being cautious is gutless and has cost us in the past…thats some leap. Bloggers cost Mayo All Irelands—indeed?

    A more reasoned analysis of the game would be delighted for Freeman- proved all doubters including myself wrong. Glad Dillon & Moran making progress ans unlike another poster I thought the O Shea’s had a great game.

    Slow start is a bit of a problem but maybe I am being gutless again.

    We are all on the same side- Lets go Mayo.

  25. pfb – I’m more than happy to engage in debate with anyone who wants a reasoned discussion. Come back when you’re prepared to make whatever point you want to in a reasonable way.

  26. Rossoneri……..Thank you for your good wishes for the rest of Mayo’s 2013 AI campaign. We’ll give it our best shot, for sure………!

  27. I think pfb wants us all to be more enthusiastic about our chances, but, after all the false dawns for 60 years its hard for Mayo people to be like that. 6 final appearances in 24 years with nothing to show but heartbreak has a way of tempering the attitude.
    That said, it’s easy to see where pfb gets his confidence in the team from, they’re a class apart in the province again this year and are not at 6/1 with the bookies for Sam for nothing.
    We seen last September how they battled very hard all the way after giving up two bad goals, they genuinely are contenders this year.

  28. Patroit, Mayo used 5 subs, did you missed Clarke being substituted for O Malley?

    Mayo’s last sub came on at the 56th minute, which was Keane for Higgins. I guess if there was another sub to spare Dillon would have been rested, but he has a 5 week break now until the Connacht Final for resting so he should be Ok.

  29. Rossoneri – thanks for the kind wishes, sorry we had to do that to you guys … and on Bloomsday too! Seriously though, I think the Rossies gave us a much better match today than Galway did (not hard, I admit) but we’re simply much further down the road in terms of conditioning, set-up and all the rest and once we get going we’re capable of doing plenty of damage. If Ros stick with John Evans and seek to bring this group on, though, there’s be better days that this for the county over the next few years.

  30. David – It’s good for pfd to be confident but there is no need for sneery, derisory comments.
    We all have more confidence now and are admitting that Mayo are contenders but they have a good bit of fine tuning to do for the big boys and now is the time to do it.
    Is that being negative or gutless???
    Anyway, today was a good day for Mayo football.

  31. David

    I put my point to you on todays post without going through previous posts. I acknowledge your point but do not think missing out “and London” is a slip of the keyboard.

  32. the most pleasing aspect for me of the two games so far is the improvement in alan freeman, he is a great build and height for the number 14 role and is a huge asset at full forward , just what we needed strength and height and plucked some lovely balls out of the air today, well done alan, keep it up, maigheo abu

  33. Guys any update on Clarke.
    Just another observation and its not really a criticism but i think i only saw Andy Moran about 3 or 4 times on the screen.It came across on tv that over all a quiet game. Thought crossed my mind that still he doesn’t feel 100%and he was afraid to push too hard .I could be wrong i wasn’t at the game so he could have being doing a lot of work off ball that didn’t come across on camera

  34. I forgot about O’Malley. My mistake. I just wanted to see Dillon rested – he doesnt have 5 weeks either because club championship is on next weekend and knowing the guys dedication he will certainly play for his club. There is no such thing as rest when your an inter county footballer. Ok Regan and doc might have been injured but what is Alan Murphy there for? He could have replaced Dillon at some stage…..

  35. Delighted with the win.
    Glad to hear James Horan and keith Higgins speak about
    the sloppiness and missed goal chance,.they didnt really
    blow them away like they should have . my worry is
    if they cant score goals against a div 3 team
    what about the bigger challenges ahead.if we consider
    ourselves genuine All ireland contenders then those
    issues need to be addressed or we are going nowhere

  36. Mayomaningalway I got that exact same feeling watching andy on tv. Sensed that he was holding back a little, understandable of course given his injury, it’s unrealistic to expect him to have the impact he normally does this year. AI qfs are still 7weeks away though so he has time to regain more fitness, like to see him start against London/Leitrim

  37. A good win but ros were poor and look at it this way…renibded me of leitrim game last year. Put it up to us for 20 minutes and we pulled away. Failed to put goals in today. Bad misses from us! I dont know why people talk about the TWO o’sheas…aidan was pi double s poor ib 1st half I thought. 9 for ros got on a poor of ball and seamus did well but turned over a few important balls.

    Was impressed with freeman my mom. Andy moran needs the game time but think he will be in next game with barry. Still shocked at our 3 goal misses…you need to hit target. Richies was the worst…should have palmed it in

  38. I agree Aidan o shea had a poor first half, looked like he wasn’t tuned in properly Horan must have given him a going over at HT coz he was much better 2nd half, still with Barry Moran breathing down his neck for a starting place he won’t get away with that kind of sloppiness against Leitrim and could find his place under threat further down the track. Horan will pick the team on form and that’s how it should be, no one guaranteed a start. When Tyrone won their all Ireland’s the quality they were able to call on off the bench was staggering. Dublin are like that this year, and We are approaching that level now too, it’s nice to see.

  39. A score from the history books. June 13th 1999 Mayo 0-21 Roscommon 0-10. Poor efforts at goals. The rest is what would be expected from a team with notions in a province that is so poor at present. They beat what was put in front of them and did it easy. It will be August before we see the exam paper sat and a better feel for where we are. Make that and win …we are on the Ulster side.

  40. Good day out for Mayo.Good because we won but also because it threw up some questions.

    I believe that the O Shea brothers will be the midfield. I do not see Barry getting back in other than as a sub.Same applies to Conroy and one cannot but be worried about Alan and Andy. Alan looked off the pace and apart from Andy’s point he was not in the game. Actually Coen looked the real deal while he was on.

    There was a looseness in the second half in the backs that was troubling. Too many going forward and the movement broke down once but Ros could not capitalise.

    Good to see Freeman doing well even if Carty’s shortcomings were predicted on this site all week.

    Roscommon were a let down and Evans came across as a whinger giving out about the ref. HIs game plan was and is old and frankly what Ros are doing bringing a guy that length from Kerry astounds me. Thats their business I guess.

    Conor Daly allowed to saunter a few times through the middle and the slow start— Well 2004,2006,2012 …This must be addressed.

    Horans honesty is refreshing and he is right- there is a lot to do. We are not nearly there yet and lack of competiton will do us no favours. It is another obstacle however which CAN be overcome.

    Hard to see Leitrim/London matching us. I think I would rather attend one of the training sessions if Im honest but perhaps I am wrong.

    Overall good to see the win but I for one not getting carried away. Too many battle scars.

  41. Thought Dillon played his part yesterday as-usual, how many score did here have a hand in – facts are: Disposssed defender for Higgins score, created 2 freees for Freeman 1st half and kick one while, 2nd H created Coens, Boyles and horribleY missed 2 sitters for himself,, id say pretty productive for one of our hero’s who owes nothing to the jersey and sho is only back, if its all-irelands we want then he’s 1st on the team sheet never mind who comign back.

  42. Indeed John, The stars seem to be aligning for a date with Jimmy and his band of supposedly indestructible winning machines. Bring it.

  43. Patriot/Onefoot4Forward – I’ve just deleted that reference you’ve both made to a Mayo player (you’ll both know who I’m talking about and in what context). It’s not appropriate to be airing details of this kind here so I’d appreciate it if you’d both refrain from doing so again.

  44. WJ Great report, I agree with everything you say. Very enjoyable day in Castlebar. Here’e looking forward to many more

  45. Connaught Final Venue –

    Mayo -v- London – Pearse Stadium ????

    Mayo-v- Leitrim – Leitrim’s call and they tell me Roscommon is out. Will Leitrim go to C’Bar?

    Pearse Stadium a definite?? Likely to be some carotts from Mayo Co. Board to Leitrim!.

  46. I would have to disagree with you making progress. Id imagine barry will go in and aidan will go to 11. People will start saying now no way 11 is not aidans position but to be honest he showed the same form at 8 in the first half yesterday than he did at 11 in league. Anyway play 3 big men around the middle. BM will be needed. And I hope freeman can do what he did yesterday on bigger stage. Andy needs that game time and great to see competition in backs. These wins are boosting confidence so lets keep riding the wave. Up mayo

  47. Apologies if my earlier comment came across as unnecessarily harsh. On reading it again, it probably was a little over the top. Feel free to remove it, Willie Joe, if you think appropriate.

    I do stand by the general sentiment though. I really think that Mayo supporters, especially of an older generation, put far too much into the history books and less into balanced, unbiased judgement. This is understandable, to some extent, given the failings of old but serves no purpose and is not a fair reflection on any current crop of players/management. Before the Roscommon game there were a number of posters here and elsewhere stating how stupid it was to be predicting huge winning margins, despite the fact that the form book suggested exactly that. Why? Because perhaps players would get ahead of themselves or think they are better than they are? Or that this kind of talk around the county would seep into the team mentality? These are some of the reasons trotted out. I completely disagree with this type of attitude. The posters on this site are just that – commentators on the game. In that, I don’t think any honest opinion can be called invalid.

  48. PK – surely we don’t still have people suggesting AOS at 11. Taking your best midfielder out of that position AND putting him in a position he cannot play. It’s like shooting yourself in both feet incase doing one just mightn’t be sore enough.

  49. That’s fine, pfb, apology accepted. My issue was with the tenor used in making the point rather than the point itself. I think supporters are always treading a fine line in making predictions about upcoming games – express confidence and you’re immediately accused of being cocky and arrogant (which is what happened over on gaaboard.com when a few Mayo lads starting saying we’d win easily), express doubts and you can be accused of not having faith in the team. In other words, it’s a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation.

    In defence of my own opinion expressed the night before the game (which is only one opinion after all and I never claim any kind of infallibility or anything), I never predicted it’d be a “tight game”. I said it was unrealistic to expect us to demolish Roscommon in the same way we’d destroyed Galway (you could argue this was correct – we demolished them alright but not in a similar manner to the Galway win) and I also said I expected the Rossies to have learned from the Salthill game and to come with a game plan aimed at making life difficult for us (which they did but it didn’t work for them). I also pointed to the result of the poll on the site which showed that 57% of respondents thought we’d win as easily as we’d done in 2009. No poor-mouthing there.

  50. Another big Mayo championship win however no test for the bigger tests ahead and IMO that is a slight concern. Roscommon played well for 15mins but once we moved up the gears they were very poor they really didn’t want to know and had given up by half time. I’m not sure did they do better than Galway? remember we scored 4-16 (21) scores against them just like yesterday and they finished that game with 13 men plus they managed 0-11 to Roscommon 0-9.

    So another certain Connacht title hands up how many thought Mayo would win three in row titles after the 2010 Sligo,Longford defeats some turn around when you think about it.

  51. Do you really believe it wasn’t as easy as Galway? I believe it was every bit as easy, the difference in the winning margin is neither here nor there when its over ten points or so.

    Mayo killed Roscommon in the last 10/13 min of the first half. Done and dusted, they messed up a bit towards the last quater but it didnt matter a bit.

    Roscommon brought nothing to the game bar the opening exchanges, they have very little to offer tbh.

  52. I’m not saying we didn’t win easily yesterday, just that the way we won was different from Galway. We buried Galway with that first half avalanche of goals and we kept pounding them right through the second half. Yesterday it took us a while to get at them and when we did it was a barrage of points that won it for us. Also, unlike Salthill, we tailed off badly yesterday as the second half went on. As you’ve said, though, Sean once the margin goes above ten points the details all become a bit academic!

  53. pfb – I am part of the older generation and no part of history influences my opinions. I always regard this team as a completely new team and I expect new things from them.
    I have one particular bugbear and this is “Complacency” This can affect any team in any decade, in any given year.
    IT IS NOT NEGATIVE, IT IS CALLED REALISM. Get away from Mayo, it can affect any player, in any sport, at any time. The reason is that we are all human beings, with failings, without exceptions.
    Have you found exceptions to being human? I haven’t.
    I think Mayo are one hell of a good team now. I don’t know what age you are but the “older generation” are not dumb. We have one quality that can be regarded as useful and that’s experience.

  54. Declan seamus has been playing better than him recently and Barry was our best midfielder last year so I dont think he is our best midfielder as you are claiming. Moran gives any forward quality balls with his distribution so he will be badly needed for that ability and his fielding and all round play come croker. I dont doubt aidan is a talented footballer but in my opinion put him at 11 even 12 and let him come out as an attacking 3rd mid fielder

  55. Actually hat off to Sean Burke. You insisted we would win well and you were right even if the poor opposition made it hard for us in so far as it is hard to stay focused when youre out of sight.But fair play SEan you have steel!
    Joe Mc is also correct. History teaches us that surprise,complacency and over confidence are not good traits but I think everyone knows there are bigger challenges ahead and in fairness no one is losing the run of themselves. Nothing won yet !

    Lots of issues around yesterday .I think you have to be playing at the highest level for sharpness and I wonder how Barry Or Michael or indeed Andy or Alan will fare. Thats why I think it will be Aidan and Seamie for now. Richie Feeney is too good to leave off and I for one like what I have seen of Coen. Cant see Jason Doherty getting back in.

    See David Brady thinks Kenneth O Malley is pushing Clarke injury or not.

    I presume Higgins was Capt yesterday as he led parade. Is it rotating.

  56. Who thinks Coen might start for the Connaught final.I cant see it but i for one would like to see it happen.

  57. What’s really beginning to shine through and is that we have one hell of a squad. Two of the players nominated for MOTM on the Sunday Game didn’t make last year’s All-Ireland starting fifteen, Seamie and Freeman. Seamie is playing better football than Aiden at present and to think we have Barry waiting in the wings and Gibbons. Freeman’s display at full forward should see him hold onto the 14 shirt with Andy and Alan in the two corners and that gives us a whole new full forward line from last year’s All Ireland, with the option to play high ball in to two of them if needed.

    We have two top class goalkeepers vying for that position, we have four very good defenders waiting in the wings – an alternative full back line of Walsh, McHale and Keane with Burke a very able half back replacement.

    As someone in one of the papers suggested a Mayo forward line of Feeney, O’Connor, McLoughlin, Dillon, Freeman, Moran. And the forward subs would be Conroy, Doherty, Varley, Carolan, Coen ( he looks like a real prospect ) Murphy and Regan.

    We’re lookin good !

  58. I would say there are several positions up for grabs on this team and I don’t think anyone can be guaranteed a place not with the bench that’s available. I also think Brady is correct in saying O’mally might push D. Clarke out. One thing we still don’t have is a reliable free taker from distance (45s and anything bnetween 40- 50 metre line). If O’Malley (or anyone else) can offer that then they has a serious shout for a starting place.

    W.r.t Andy Moran I don’t think he’s guaranteed his position either. Alan Freeman had a phenomenal match yesterday. He seems to have bulked up and it seems to have given him confidence that his strength can offset the physical presence which most Full backs bring to a championship game. I would be surprised if he is not starting there for the Connacht final. Andy might well get the other corner but it’s cartainly not a gimme what with Coen, Varley. and of course looking forward Mr conroy should also be looking to return.

    Same goes for Aidan O’Shea. Barry moran could well start with SOS in the middle.

    In face the only position I think we are possibly lacking cover in is the 1/2 back line.
    Are there guys for that line who can compete at this level (talking here about against the likes of Division 1 teams).
    Say for instance if one of the curent 3 has an off day or is injured.

  59. That’s fair enough, WJ. Thanks for responding. Again, my use of “gutless” earlier on wasn’t meant to be a reflection on anyone’s character. It was a poor choice of words.

    Joe Mc – I’ll admit to being of a younger generation. One that grew up watching reasonably successful Mayo teams, albeit teams who didn’t seem to possess that ruthless streak that is required of All Ireland winners. I grew up in an area surrounded by the older generation that I am talking about – the ones who lived in hope more so than with any confident air. Who always played down our chances and yet were still left with that crushed feeling after the third week in September. It’s an attitude that seemed to be prevalent of the time and indicative of the 80’s/90’s/00’s. I don’t know if it was the perceived attitude of those Mayo teams that infiltrated common opinion, or if it was common opinion that negatively influenced those teams, but this Mayo team seems to be wholly different. There is a level of steeliness and determination emanating from this current group that has been lacking for as long as I have been a supporter. For the first time (in my memory) I think we are seeing at team that doesn’t buy into any hype. A team that is being forced to remain focussed. For this reason I think it is no harm to talk up their chances, certainly to the level that they have earned. In the past we didn’t do that and nothing good came of it. Where is the harm in trying a different approach? Mayo may very well not win an All Ireland this year, next year, or in the next 5 years, but they are certainly playing the way you would expect of champions. It just remains to be seen how many other teams match this approach.

  60. Shane Mchale came on for Ger C at Full back same as Galway game. JH seems to be grooming him for this position which I thin is a great idea. And Kevin Keane came on for Keith in the corner.
    The only guy I can think of is Chris Barrett – but he played a lot of his primary stuff during the League in corner back as far as I can remember. One option is to push Tom Cuniffe up to CHB and bring in Keane, Barrett or McHale.

    I’m thinking here of someone who has the calibre to mark the Gooch who has now moved to CHF.

  61. pfb- fair comments there. I do understand where you’re coming from. It is good if young people are not coloured by the let downs of the many Mayo teams in the past. It did breed a sense of no faith in Mayo.
    The thing that shattered me most was the leaking of the two goals in the All Ireland. I don’t live in Mayo but all my friends said, “not again!”
    This was the new Mayo team and it was not suppose to happen so it will take time to be confident. Old wounds are hard healed. You are lucky that you haven’t those wounds. Long may it last.
    There is no harm in you having a different approach. You should have, you’re young. Good luck to you.

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